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Preparing for Trial in Canada

Anyone facing criminal charges should research the rules dictating how trials are conducted

Preparing for Criminal Trial as a Self-Represented Litigant

If you have been charged with a crime in Canada, you should consult with a criminal defence lawyer in your area

Preparing for Trial - Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Legal Terms

Crown prosecutor

Lawyers who act for the federal, provincial and territorial governments and prosecute people accused of crimes on behalf of the Crown.


An accused person has the right to the disclosure of all relevant information  in the possession of the Crown, with the exception of privileged information. This typically occurs before the accused has to decide whether to enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty.

Duty counsel

They are lawyers who assist self-represented litigants by offering limited legal advice. They can give advice about the accused's legal rights, obligations and the court process. They can also help with asking for an adjournment, conducting a bail hearing, entering a guilty plea or making submissions at a sentencing hearing.

First appearance

A procedural step to determine how the accused wants to proceed with the case. The purpose of a first appearance is for the court to get information and for the accused to think about what they want to do, such as plead guilty or not guilty.


A legal document requiring a person to testify before the court or to produce documents.

Preparing for Trial - Referenced Links